Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Avista Corporation (AVA) to Sell

Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Avista Corp. is a diversified energy company with utility and subsidiary operations located throughout North America. Avista Corp. also operates Avista Capital, which owns all the company’s non-regulated energy and non-energy businesses. Avista Capital companies include Avista Energy, Avista Energy Canada, Ltd., Avista Power, Avista Advantage, Avista Labs, Avista Fiber, Avista Communiations, Avista Development and Pentzer Corporation. (PRESS RELEASE) “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Avista Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Avista Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Williams Capital cut Avista Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.75.

Avista Corporation (AVA) opened at 52.24 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $51.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $45.98. The company has a market cap of $3.36 billion, a PE ratio of 24.70 and a beta of 0.45. Avista Corporation has a 12-month low of $37.78 and a 12-month high of $52.83.

Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.37 by ($0.03). Avista Corporation had a return on equity of 8.19% and a net margin of 9.35%. The business had revenue of $314.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $326.33 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.43 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Avista Corporation will post $1.95 EPS for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AVA. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Avista Corporation by 38.8% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 698 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in Avista Corporation by 28.8% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after acquiring an additional 599 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in Avista Corporation by 16.3% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after acquiring an additional 403 shares during the period. CWH Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Avista Corporation in the second quarter valued at approximately $132,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in Avista Corporation by 8.4% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,145 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 244 shares during the period. 69.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Avista Corporation

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company.

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